"What would you do with a man who could not get it up?," asked Ajo Kawir.
"I will mary him," answered iteung.



Ajo Kawir is a fighter who fears nothing, not even death. His raging urge to fight is driven by a secret — his impotence. When he crosses paths with a tough female fighter named Iteung, Ajo gets beaten black and blue, but also head over heels — he falls in love. Will Ajo’s path lead him to a happy life with Iteung, and, eventually, his own peace of mind?





EDWIN was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 1978. His short film Kara, the Daughter of a Tree (2005) premiered in the Director’s Fortnight section at Cannes Film Festival in 2005, and his first feature, Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (2008), received a FIPRESCI Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2009. His second feature, Postcards from the Zoo (2012), was in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012.




Best Director (Citra Award), Festival Film of Indonesia (Posesif, 2017)

Edward Yang New Talent Award, 6th Asian Film Awards (Postcards From The Zoo, 2012)

FIRESCI Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam (Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly, 2009)

NETPAC Award, Taipei Golden Horse International Film Festival (Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly, 2009)

SILVER Award, Festival 3Continents, Nantes, France (Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly, 2009)

YOUTH Award, Festival 3Continents, Nantes, France (Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly, 2009)



2018: Aruna & Her Palate / Aruna & Lidahnya (feature)

2018: Variable No. 3 (short)

2017: Possesive / Posesif (feature)

2013: Someone’s Wife in the Boat of Someone’s Husband (mid-length) /

2012: Kebun Binatang / Postcards from the Zoo (feature)

2008: Babi Buta Yang Ingin Terbang / Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly (feature)

2010: Roller Coaster (short)

2009: Nairobi Notes (short)

2008: Hulahoop Soundings (short)

2007: Trip to the Wound (short)

2005: Kara, the Daugther of a Tree / Kara, Anak Sebatang Pohon (short)

2004: Dajang Soembi, The Woman Who is Married to the Dog / Dajang Soembi, Perempuan Jang Dikawini Andjing (short)

2002: A Very Slow Breakfast (short)







Growing up in the glory days of a military regime, stories and myths on heroics and male bravado were so familiar to me.

There was a normalized culture of violence and deception in the name of machismo and prowess.

It was a theme you could feel in everyday life and society is fully entitled to pass their judgement on the topic. An ‘incapable’ chap could bring a bad reputation to the entire village he lived in. Private matters are everyone’s business and virility is the benchmark of manliness.


Talking about sex is hardly taboo in Indonesia. I myself got many sex tips from becak drivers, food stall guys, even school teachers. Unfortunately, the discussion on sexuality mostly revolves around one thing: the almighty male prowess.


So yes, sexuality is discussed openly, but very far from sexuality as a basic and equal human right, let alone more advanced topics like sexual orientation. It is mostly a very caveman, male prowess oriented talk. He who could not get it up and please a woman suffers the worst indignity.


The word ‘impotence’ was a very familiar word for teens, it was a boogie man scarier than cancer, HIV or all other ghouls. Violence towards women, or all other kinds of violence, is somewhat excusable when you knew the man was frustrated by his “incapacity”. People might say, “Ohhh no wonder he hits his wife, he has problems with his bird (the slang for penis in Indonesian).”

In this film, I see Indonesia desperately trying to overcome its fear of impotence, its fear of failure to perform.


We follow Ajo Kawir’s journey, who becomes impotent the day he was forced to watch a mentally ill woman being raped by two policemen. To mask his impotence, he takes the path of violence. He challenges everyone to a fight and makes sure no one can doubt his manliness.


The culture of machismo only knows men who cry without tears. When Ajo Jawir feels betrayed by his wife (who at the end of the day DID need him to get it up), he becomes a cowardly fighter. He has no problem ending an old sickly man’s life who was lying there defenseless while calling the poor man, “Bitch!”.


Machismo and patriarchal values are still ever present in today’s Indonesia, supposedly a more open-minded and democratic society than the one in Ajo Kawir’s youth.


In this film, I would like to encourage people around me to chill on the macho man culture and take it easy with all the desperate efforts to hold on the mythical trophy of manliness. Should we waste time obsessing about the bird that can’t get up, while more and more of the same violence still keeps occurring all around us?





Marthino Lio: Ajo Kawir

Ladya Cheryl: Iteung



Director: EDWIN

Screenplay OR Scriptwriters (kindly choose the suitable one): EDWIN & EKA KURNIAWAN

Cinematographer: AKIKO ASHIZAWA, J.S.C.

Editor: LEE CHATAMETIKOOL

Music: DAVE LUMENTA

Sound Designer: AKRITCHALERM KALAYANAMITR

Sound Recordist: HANDI ILFAT

Art Director: EROS EFLIN

Wardrobe Stylist: GEMAILA GEA GERIANTIANA

Hair & Make Up Artist: CHERRY WIRAWAN

Visual Effect Supervisor: RIVAI CHEN

Physical Production Supervisor: SARI MOCHTAN

Line Producer: APRIL PRISCILLA

1st Assistant Director: GADIS FAJRIANI

Casting: JOAN ARDIANA & ABDUL RAHMAN HIDAYAT

Producers: Meiske Taurisia & Muhammad Zaidy




Original title: SEPERTI DENDAM, RINDU HARUS DIBAYAR TUNTAS

International title: VENGEANCE IS MINE, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH

Duration: 114 min

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Format: 2K

Sound: 5. 1

Year: 2021

Original language: INDONESIAN

Countries of production: INDONESIA, SINGAPORE, GERMANY

Production Companies: PALARI FILMS

Co-production Companies: PHOENIX FILMS, E&W FILMS, MATCH FACTORY PRODUCTIONS, BOMBERO INTERNATIONAL

Executive Producers: PHOENIX FILMS, NATASHA SIDHARTA, KANINGA PICTURES

With the support of: SINGAPORE FILM COMMISION, PURIN PICTURES, WHITE LIGHT STUDIO, FILMFÖRDERUNG HAMBURG SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, BERLINALE WORLD CINEMA FUND

Based on the Novel by Award Winning Indonesian Author: EKA KURNIAWAN




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